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Teachers turned food police

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

22 September 2006

Teachers turned food police

Teachers will have to be trained experts on diet to comply with new Government rules on food in schools, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is commenting on the Government's plan to turn teachers into food police as part of its anti-obesity campaign.

"Teachers don't make children's lunches, parents do, but this campaign puts all the responsibility on to teachers.

"Education Minister Steve Maharey has said the new guidelines are an effective ban on some foods, and that the Education Review Office will monitor schools' compliance.

"But how will a teacher know whether the sausage sizzle for the netball team complies with the new rules if they don't know what's in the sausages, or whether the peanut butter sandwich is legal if it has jam in it as well?

"If the Government wants to ban some foods and drinks then they should just go ahead and do it, and take full responsibility.

"Teachers are too busy teaching children the basics and looking after their social problems to take on the job of food police as well," says Mr English.


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